How to prepare for NTSE (National Talent Search Examination)?

The best way to prepare for NTSE exam depends totally upon us what study plan we follow? How attentive we are? And many more factors. There is nothing like a magic bullet or an elixir, which you can get right before the exam. NTSE preparation is bound to get you confused. What to read and what to leave? How to practice for NTSE? How much to practice? If I am from a state board, do I need to prepare differently for NTSE?

Let’s dive into the tricks of cracking the NTSE exam:

  1. Know your Strengths & Weaknesses: It’s necessary to know your strengths & weaknesses. E.g. If you’re strong in mathematics and science but average in languages and weak in social sciences, then you can turn your weaknesses into strengths for an overall good score.
  2. Follow NCERT Books: Follow NCERT books of classes IX and X for NTSE preparation. For some concepts in biology, refer NCERT Class XI Biology textbook (only portions that are relevant to IX and X class curriculum). It’s imperative to thoroughly study the Social Studies NCERT book for NTSE.
  3. Strengthen your MAT section and work on your SAT section: The MAT section tests your mental ability. Hence, you must give sufficient time for preparing for this part. Follow NCERT for the Scholastic Aptitude section of NTSE. You must also read a general knowledge book for ‘out of the course’ questions.
  4. Start your preparation with last year’s NTSE papers: The objective is to understand the type of questions asked and your current level. Take last year’s paper or good NTSE sample questions and just write the exam with all seriousness. This will help you gain knowledge of NTSE and also give you a fair idea of your standing
  5. Analyze your performance: Make sure to minutely assess what you could do and what you had a hard time with. Is it the knowledge of subject matter that you lacked? Or did you miss out because you made some silly mistakes? Or is it that mental ability questions took a long time for you to crack? Whatever it is, just analyze your performance very minutely and critically
  6. Make a plan: Once you know your weak points, make a plan. You will definitely need to study and revise the subject matter. That is required not just for NTSE but also for your school. So there is no letting up on that front. You will also need to practice more mental ability questions. But the allocation of time will depend upon your analysis of how weak or strong you are in that particular aspect
  7. Self-Study is important: For clearing any exam, a decent amount of self-study is important. It is one of the most basic and important of all the tips to become an NTSE scholar. One should devote at least 3-4 hours to self-learning to crack this competitive exam.
  8. Practice with previous year question papers: This is the most effective way to prepare for any of the exams, as when one prepares from the previous year question paper, he/ she will get idea of the format and the pattern of the question paper. So by practicing the previous year question papers the candidates will know how much time to spend on each section.

Just remember that you don’t have to be a Know-It-All to compete and excel. You can be just an ordinary candidate and follow these tips to become a NTSE scholar.

Practice papers for NTSE are available at

For more info, visit

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